Ale To The Chief - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ale To The ChiefAle To The Chief

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

507 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 507
Reviews: 379
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 26
Gots: 14 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GilGarp on 07-22-2008

Brewed occasionally during election years.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 507 | Reviews: 379
Photo of GClarkage
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

10/24/08- Purchased at Ledger's, in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info (2008 release). Poured into my Smuttynose pint glass.

Appearance- Rich copper-amber colored pour. Large 1 inch plus head which is thick and foamy. Leaves light patchwork and trails of lace behind.

Smell- Sugary tropical and citrus fruited hops plus a mid range caramel malted nose.

Taste- Heavy orange rind sugary hop flavor. Maybe a bit of grapefruit and tangerine as well. Malt is medium to light roasted caramel in taste. Needs something though to pull both factors together.

Mouthfeel- Right amount of carbonation with a good amount of juicy hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- Needs to be a bit more assertive. Malt could be a bit more roasted and robust. Just missing that special something to pull together all the flavors and make this a really good beer. As is though, it about your average DIPA.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.47/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a four-finger thick, frothy, light tan colored head. The beer is a bright, amber-copper hue that shows a full copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma is clearly hop focused with stick ruby-red grapefruit notes, lighter lychee, sweetened orange zest, a touch of tart grapefruit towards the middle / end and some not quite ripe orange notes. The malt character provides a dusty, crushed cracker, pale malt note that has just a touch of a snap to the finish.

Much stickier and sweeter than I was expecting, the body is quite viscous and thick as well. This definitely has the heft of a Barleywine to it. The amply sweet malt definitely accentuates hop flavors of lychee, tropical fruit, ripe peaches, and sweet orange zest. A touch of warming alcohol, some toasty pale malt and medium bitterness that is not enough to cut through the sticky malt are all present in the finish. A touch of pine is noticeable towards the finish as well, though it seems to get drowned out by the sweet malt character at times. This is a very clean beer, almost devoid of yeast character, which is to be expected from Avery.

I wasn't expecting this to be quite so sweet as it is, it is not bad, but I expected something calling itself a "Pale Ale" to try and capture the drinkability of said beer, even if it is an amp'd up version. The vibrant hop character is nice, but it can't hide the overt sweetness. This does get quite a bit less sticky as it warms up from its initial 50°F / 10°C serving temperature, but it is still a bit much.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Photo of Gavage
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: orange in color with a thick 2" head that sticks around for a while. Some lacing paints the glass.

Smell: pine and grapefruits leap from the glass, but little else is detectable.

Taste: big caramel profile with a sharp biting bitterness. Tart green grapes, pine, and loads of grapefruits round it out. Alcohol is noticable and warming.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Crisp at the start, smoother and a bit dry at the finish. Bitterness glues itself to the tongue making a super long aftertaste.

Drinkability: for the style this one is pretty easy to drink despite the big flavors. Really enjoyable beer but this will catch up to you quickly with the high alcohol levels.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours amber with a small white head, leaving sticky lacing as I expect in a Double IPA down the glass.

S: Grapefruit, mint, hops for sure.

T: On the spicier side for a Double IPA, hops are there in droves, heavy citrus, with some pepper and mint, interesting flavour.

M: Light in carbonation, oily, creamy.

D: A good Double IPA, though not my favourite by a longshot, possible rebuy for me, could check it out again.

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Way to go Avery.
First for the political sentiments (anti Bush/Republican) on the label...
Second for the high quality almost DIPA in the bottle.
Pours clear, glowing darker amber, with that olive oil almost green tint thing going on, tight off white head, leaving better then average fine lace. Nose is the expected oily, gritty, hoppyness. Tasty easy drinking offering, hops quite evident but not overpowering in their approach. Whole wheat toast underlying malt and coating the palate for the approaching hop crunch. Love the style..love this beer...highly recommended for all hoppy beer lovers.

Photo of yourefragile
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On tap at McGrady's in Bethlehem, PA.

A: Bright, amber golden cloudy color with a thick and retentive white head that leaves rings of sticky lacing.
S: Obviously big hop punch, though a little sweeter than expected, strong grapefruit and malt aroma.
T: So far this walked and talked like a big DIPA should, but it let me down where it matters. Not to say this isn't a quality DIPA, but with all the options available (common and rare) this is one I won't be returning to. Starts with a strong hop punch, that is fairly sweet and grapefruit like and then the sweetness from the malt body takes over and the hops fade away. Body goes from initially feeling very full and prickly from the hops to finishing rather thin and watery, ruining the overall experience. Nice flavor in this beer, but overall, nowhere near the league of other DIPAs, even the Maharaja (I killed the spelling, I know).

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.23/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not sure why this beer was brewed exactly. For the president? I'm confused...but then again, it doesn't really matter.
Poured a semi-clouded amber/acorn color with a head that was off white/brown and billowed up nicely. Good density and lacing. Endured quite a while.
Tame aroma. Mild characteristics all the way around. Some sweet, wet malt, a touch of floral and citrus hops, a pinch of smoke or toast. Can't say I was impressed much.
A taste that was solid at best. Good balance again, but nothing that would suggest the 2IPA label was justified. This is a good beer, but reviewing with the style I think it misses a bit. drinkable, though.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orange amber with a quite nice initial head that fades to a thin ring. Smells sweet with quite a bit of honeyed malt followed by a light nose of spicy, piney hops with a dose of citrus and a whiff of alcohol as well. The taste is fairly bold and hoppy to start with lots of pine, but as the beer opens up and warms it becomes maltier and a little waxy. The hops drop off some as well. There is a somewhat strange hint of marmite like yeastiness as well and a somewhat tannic finish. It is an enjoyable enough beer, but it doesn't make any of my tops lists. The mouthfeel is full and perhaps the tiniest bit sticky. Rich and probably best with food- perhaps a nice curry?

Photo of corby112
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a thin off-white foam head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring that streaks the glass with spots of soapy lacing.

Crisp floral hop aroma with subtle hints of citrus and earthy pine as well as a strong caramel malt presence.

Nicely balanced and very quaffable considering he high ABV. The malt backbone is a bit too strong for my liking but it provides nice balance to the dry earthy hops. Earthy pine and sweet citrus notes. Slightly dry finish.

Photo of weeare138
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes. On tap at Capone's...
Appears a semi-transparent copper toned amber with a small white head that slowly fades out. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of super hoppy, grapefruit, pine, herbs, and bown sugar.
Taste is of a hoppy, sugary mix with some standout citrus, and spicey pine notes that make the beer extremely interesting.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, chwy, and balanced for such a hop-filled monster.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a relatively bright, but slightly hazed golden orange. Head is big, with crackling bubbling of off-white foam. Lace is crazy and intricate. Body looks surprsiginly light, but if it's a "pale ale" as they describe, it fits. Looks pretty big and impressive overall, while still remaining true to its stylistic roots.

Nose is pleasantly sweet, with that really classic fresh American hops character. Lots of hops giving citrus oil buoyancy, but it mingles with sweet butterscotch and caramel. Sudsy aromas come off it too. Bit of pepper berry, sharp and sweet but spicy as well. Really nice aromas, and well integrated.

Pine on the palate, with a good citrus bite. Sweetness comes through, hints of peach and vanilla. The only sign of the ABV, is a touch of sharp phenols on the back, but only very lightly so - so well covered by all the really pleasant characters otherwise. Lovely drop of beer.

Surprisingly easy to drink for its alcohol, and bursting with flavour, but never overdone on any of the potentially offensive characters. Really well restrained in places, but let loose in others. Cracking beer.

Photo of Zorro
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear coppery amber colored ale with a dense off-white to light tan colored head. Quite a good looking ale.

Smell is malt and citrus mostly pineapple and mint. Pine and grapefruit are present in lesser amounts and a little lemon, but this really smells like a pineapple cream pie.

Taste starts out malty melon flavor with a little but of woody and oak aftertaste. Quite mildly flavored the melon lasts all they way to the bottom of the glass. Considered giving this a "4" for the mildness, but this just isn't complex enough for a score that high.

Good Mouthfeel.

Not a bad beer at all but not a great one either. Mild and a good choice for introducing someone to the style. But this lacks complexity, not top of the class like a Pliny much less a second tier near great beer like Green Flash Imperial IPA. Wouldn't refuse a free one but I would choose a Green Flash after having tried this for $3 less a bottle.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a clear coppery-orange body with a strong carbonation of big bubbles supporting a light tan head.

S- There is a earthy orange hop aroma that fills the air during the pour with a leafy hop aroma to it. There is a fruity quality to the hops as the beer warms.

T- This beer has a big green hop favor with a cheese quality to it and a pine note. There is a pale malt note and some toasted hints to it that support the big hops. The finish is a soft spicy quality to a pungent big hop finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with the only real alcohol heat coming in the last few sips.

D- This beer has some full fresh hops that are supported by a nice malt flavor with some depth. This is big and fresh hoppy beer.

Photo of John_M
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Quotations the other night, where I picked up a growler. I thought this a very nice tasting beer, though perhaps not unexpectedly, it reminded me quite a bit of the Maharaja.

The beer pours a peachy orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose this beer is all DIPA, with aromas of orange citrus, pine and even some skunkiness. As the beer warmed a bit, I also got an interesting cinnamon aroma. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose (except for the cinnamon), and the beer comes across as a hugely hoppy, mouthfilling DIPA. There is some mild sweetness from the malt, which balances out the hoppiness to some extent. The beer is medium bodied, and while the abv. is certainly noticeable, it's not overwhelming. The beer is actually pretty drinkable, all things considered.

Very nice beer. Glad I had a chance to try it, especially on draft.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear deep golden amber with a bubbly white head that sticks around for a while. Aroma, well lets just say I smell the hops soon after I pop the cap off the bottle. Closer inspection reveals large hop aromas of pine and grapefruit. I know there's some malt in there somewhere and if I squint I can maybe find a little caramel. Taste is hoppy, pine, resin and less citrus than the smell said there would be. I taste a little alcohol in the finish especially after it warms. Syrupy sticky mouthfeel, medium to thick body, crisp carbonation and mad lacing. Great little hop bomb here, a little more malt might be ok too.

Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL foil-wrapped bottle purchased at State Line.

A: The DIPA is a ruddy amber color, translucent with a half a finger of head across the mouth of the glass.

S: I took a brief whiff from the bottle and was blasted back with a barrage of hops. Out of the glass, the hops are murky with a big aroma that reminds me of a barleywine (or a DIPA that sat around too long).

T: The ale is huge, full of both hops and malts. The flavors are wet and concentrated, a veritable barleywine. The malts are caramel and biscuits, chewy and sweet. They match up admirably against the hops. Those hops are citrusy with a touch of pine resin. The finish is the best part of the ale, a melange of pine and citrus flavors that lingers long.

M: The ale is big and swirling, a barleywine wiht a fresh hop kick. The flavors overwhlem the palate.

D: One bottle is enough. The ale is a bomb. I'm just not sure if it is a hop- or malt- one.

Photo of plaid75
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky deep copper hue with a two finger frothy white head. There was good retention and very good lacing.

The smell featured balmy resinous hops, a rich cereal malt, and some dark fruits.

The taste mimiced the smell to a tee with heavy cereal grains.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with some alcohol warmth.

Overall a nice DIPA. A lot of alcohol flavor for such a moderate ABV however.

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to tburkhart for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a nice hazy dark golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy one-finger head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is hoppy, with some nice malt notes, citrus and pines. The taste is hoppy, nicely balanced malts, very nice citrus and slight pine notes. Medium body. Very drinkable, I really like this one, it's been awhile since I've had a really good brew from Avery, and this one fit the bill perfectly. Thanks Tim.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 received as part of the LNBA BIF... big thanks to Redwood21.. Very cool... I've been wanting one of these for a while.

2 finger head and alot of lacing.. brew is hop hazed amber.

orange pith and grapefruit.. the hops are very heady.. nice.. very nice.

I thought the flavor would be better... plenty of hops and malts.. but not nearly as much as the nose made me think... still.. very fruity.. nice toasty malts mid palate.. very balanced for sure.. smooth without ever verging on abrasive.. long fruity finish.. body is lighter than I would have expected.. but in this case, it helps the drinkablity.

Thanks David!! I've been wanting one of these for quite a while.. it still tastes very fresh.

4/4/4.5/4/4

Photo of Viggo
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber, big thanks to Torontoblue for cracking this one, shared also with the Denver.

Pours a clear dark amber/orange, very bright, big thick off white head forms, lots of sticky lacing on the glass, nice retention, head really sticks around. Smell is nice and hoppy, lots of pine and grapefruit, caramel malts, light fruits, pineapple, dry hop cones, not bad. Taste is similar, caramel and malty up front, pineapple, grapefruit and pine hops, floral, alcohol, pretty bready, nice bitter kick in the finish, very dry and resiny. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, pretty smooth. Nice bitterness and very hoppy, but doesn't distinguish itself from the thousand other DIPA's out there.

Photo of Bighuge
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is pretty clear. Copper body and dense ivory white head. Lacing is quite full. This is about as good as it gets aroma wise for a hoppy beer. Raw resiny pure hops. Hop oils and pungent grapefruit and yes, Mary Jane. This has a good hoppy flavor, but it's not quite as full as the nose promised. Still good, no doubt, just not top shelf in my opinion. Some of the grassy tones come through more on the palate along with a more emphasized ethanol presence. And I like andylipp's comment from his review "odd, almost off hop flavor." That fits. Still, there's some of that oily, resiny hop flavor that I like and a nice pleasant bitterness, if not tongue scathing. Solid DIPA.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old review notes from the Bistro 9th annual DIPA fest.

Hazy orange. Good hop aroma, light. Texture was syrupish, sticky hop taste. Average heft on the palate. Not overly bitter. Seems to have been a little heavier than the Dugana in the malt. Grapefruit and caramel to a lesser degree. Enjoyable, but nowhere near my favorite DIPA that day.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought on my latest trip to CO for $6.79

This pours a clear deep amber gold with a 2 finger head of foam. There's plenty of nice lacing.

The smell is very big on caramel malt with also big notes of bread and earthy hops. A very nice aroma so I can't wait to dig in.

The taste doesn't let me down after such a rich mix of smells. Plenty of sweet malt character with the caramel and the bread with nice citrus and piney hops bringing THE balance and whoa...I'm loving it. It makes me wonder why I waited so long to pick up a bottle and even why I didn't pick up more than 1 bottle. It's also a strong puppy but the flavours I'm enjoying pretty much put the abv on the sidelines where it belongs so I can enjoy this Double/Imperial IPA's obvious talents. This is a great tasting example of the style. I make no bones about it.

It feels full bodied to me with a lightish amount of carbonation so it has a very creamy overall feel to it. One of the best mouthfeels I've experienced in any beer of any style.

Drinkability? Ha! No interference from the abv, delicious and enough complexity in the flavours to keep me on the edge of my seat, not to mention the superb balance....I could sip on more than 1 bottle at a sitting. Easily. Pure joy to drink and well worth the price I paid. This is now one of my favourite brews from the folks at Avery!

Oh and...head retention is top notch.

Photo of cjgator3
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

A- Pours a beautiful golden amber color with a large sticky off-white head that possesses excellent retention.

S- The aroma is sweet malt and hints of caramel with a lot of citrusy hops. The hop aromas lean most closely to that of grapefruit with hint s of orange as well.

T- The taste starts off pretty smooth and malty with a good dose of hops in the finish. I love the balance in this brew. There is a good amount of hops, with a nice malt base to back the hops up.

M- Medium bodied mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This beer is pretty damn drinkable despite the high ABV. Another solid beer from Avery that is recommended!

Photo of scruffwhor
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is an awesome deep amberwith some hint of light ruby. LOts of awesome bubbles, it just needs some better head and foam retention. The aroma has a noticeable walnuty aroma with some musky hops smacking my nosrils to life. The aroma is more on the sweet side than bitter. I get nutty toastd breads upfront fast, but are quickly mixed with and overtaken with the musk-like flavor of hops. Not scorching, but thik and long lasting on the palate. The hops really give a lot of body to this beer. The bitterness lasts and then recedes gracefully.

Ale To The Chief from Avery Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 507 ratings.